The divorce process has never been easy, but the shutdown of the New York court system because of the pandemic has made it harder. However, divorces do not have to be put on hold entirely. There are many practical things that can be done in the pursuit of a divorce even in these difficult times.
Drafting Court Documents. In most instances, drafting of the necessary divorce documents can take place without any court intervention, if you have a competent, experienced attorney. Although an action for a divorce cannot be filed in court at present, the summons and complaint can be drafted. These pleadings can be shared with your spouse in a way that demonstrates your seriousness in pursuing a divorce during coronavirus, despite the times. Doing so can motivate your spouse to hire an attorney to negotiate a settlement, especially if there is a need for you and your spouse to separate and live apart.
Sharing Information. Most financial information and documents are available and easy to share between the attorneys without court intervention, including those required to negotiate and settle the terms related to child custody, support, and equitable distribution of assets to start the process of divorce during the coronavirus pandemic.
Drafting and Executing a Marital Settlement Agreement. The information shared by each party can be considered in reaching a settlement. Once the terms are finalized, they can be documented in a Marital Settlement Agreement, which can then be executed by you and your spouse. This Agreement can provide that you and your spouse will live separate and apart, that one spouse shall have exclusive use of the marital home, and that support payments can begin. It can even provide for the division of the marital assets, which can often be divided through online transactions, or in person. Finally, you and your spouse can determine how to pay health insurance premiums and how to co-parent your children. All of this can be done without court intervention.
Waiting for the courts to re-open to seek a divorce is absolutely unnecessary, despite the current circumstances. All of the heavy lifting can be done now – even while the courts are closed to new cases. Negotiations can occur and the resulting Marital Settlement Agreement can be executed and filed with the divorce package once the courts are back in full swing. The only thing missing from a final divorce in this scenario is a Judgment of Divorce signed by a judge. The lawyers at Jewell Law PLLC have the in-depth experience and expertise necessary to understand and address the varied issues involved in a Marital Settlement Agreement so you can resolve your divorce disputes without the court. We can help you achieve the best results in your matter and move forward to the next stage of your life even during these challenging times. Contact us to discuss your case.